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In every piece of his work, Roald Dahl actually uses different syles to attract the reader’s attention. After much analysis, we managed to spot some of the more common ones that makes his works every so interesting and popular.

One obvious trait in Roald Dahl’s works is the use of devilish twists and turns. This can be seen in the story “Man From the South[1]" where the climax when the little boy managed to light up the lighter for 8 times. However, instead of telling his readers what the result of the bet was, Roald Dahl made use of an anticlimax by introducing another important character in the story, which is none other than the man's wife. This character finally explains what was happening at the point of time and the detailed consequences that has further resulted from the long-term problem itself. [In the case of the "Man from the South" the man who seemed a perfectly normal and sane, actually suffered from a mental problem. He has lost 11 cars and won back 47 fingers in the process of betting.] This twist brought into the story actually grabbed the reader's attention and urged them to continue reading on.

In this story, readers might have expected only 2 kinds of ending, whether the boy won the car or lose his finger. Instead, Roald Dahl succeeded in introducing a third possible ending into the story, which added some spice into it. Moreover, if you had noticed, the last sentence in the story was: "I can see it now, the hand of hers; it had only one finger on it, and a thumb." Without reading the story, the person might not understand it in-depth and would therefore find it very abrupt. However, this sentence actually inflicts much thought into the reader, and cause his to make certain assumptions. This assumptions made acts as the real ending to the story, bringing fulfillment to the reader despite being abrupt. So now we see another trait which too can be found in his other stories ?the use of abrupt endings to bring and inflict thoughts or assumptions to the reader himself.

In Roald Dahl's works for the adults, Dahl actually writes mostly as a third person, so as to get a bird's eye view of the situation. However, Dahl mostly concentrates on one single perspective or view, so as to bring about the twist in the next part of the story. Writing as a third person enables him to describe the physical appearances of the characters and give specific details about them. This particular character is normally exaggerated so as to allow the reader to become biased towards him/her. Again, Roald Dahl then makes use of this biasness to make a twist out of it.

Roald Dahl makes use of many adjectives to give details about the character and the situation. In "The Umbrella Man" we located some sentences which uses much adjectives to describe a man’s appearance, instead of using vague phrases. This adjectives used causes the reader to imagine and infer the characteristics of the character, instead of directly telling the readers what his/her characters. For example, Roald Dahl used this sentence: "He had a fine white moustache and bushy white eyebrows and a wrinkly pink face" to show that the man was old and healthy. Another phrase "raised his hat politely" is used to show that he is a titled gentleman, which is totally untrue as this man is actually a trickster and a thief.

Some of the adjectives used are mainly to describe the sense of touch so as bring about the emotional state of the character. This usage of describing physical appearance so as to show the exact emotional of the character at the state of mind is often attention grabbing as it allows the reader to imagine, instead of telling them what happens directly.


Roald Dahl's has a creative and humorous style when it comes to writing children's books such as James and the giant peach or The Twits. With lots of sound words, interesting adjectives and humorous poems, it makes his books an interesting and enjoyable experience for young readers.

He uses specific names and figures of speech which compliments the different character in their personality and features. Such as Augustus Gloop to name a fat and greedy boy in the story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. These exaggerate the characters?traits as such making them seem either more evil or a better hero.

He also loves to twist words and play around with the sentence structure such as using "Vitches" in dialogs instead of witches to portray the high pitch, screeching voice of the witches. His humorous poems, which sound sadistic at times, are mostly found in children’s books. This adds a touch of wackiness to the stories. Such can be found in Charlie and the chocolate factory when he use them to make fun of the characters when they meet with different accidents.

Personification is often used in his works so as to transform those characters, mainly animals, into human-like, where they have a mind of their own and can speak like a real human. The use of animals is used to bring closer the gap of the characters and the young readers themselves.

Style of Writing in Specific Books:


As this is a children's story, the writing style would definitely be full of suspense and excitement to attract the young readers. Hints of what interesting event is about to happen next are carefully disguised in Dahl's plots. Roald Dahl knows how to make use of the fact that young readers like to read fresh stories which are different from average stories, and in this story, it can be noted that he does this by coming up with interesting names and ways of describing things. The giants are given names like The Fleshlumpeater, The Bonecruncher, The Manhugger, The Childchewer, The Meatdripper, The Gizardgulper, The Maidmasher, The Bloodbottler and The Butcher Boy. Such interesting names are bound to capture the attention of young readers. Also, Roald Dahl makes a reader psychologically part of the story which keeps the reader wanting to read more. For example, Dahl has made a right choice in making a young girl living in an orphanage the main character of the story as this makes the reader feel more "at home" with the character. The writing style that Dahl has adopted has also made use of a child's mindset. Everyone knows that a child yearns for praise. So in the story, he lets the two main characters encourage each other, illustrating to the reader the warmth between Sophie and the BFG, thus making the reader happy and wanting to read more.

"I think you speak beautifully," Sophie said. "You do?" cried the BFG, suddenly brightening. 
"You really do?"
"Simply beautifully," Sophie repeated. 
"Well, that is the nicest present anybody is ever giving me in my whole life!" cried the BFG. "Are you sure you is not twiddling my leg?"
 "Of course not," Sophie said. "I just love the way you talk."

This is an example of how praise is used to attract the reader. However, a slight disadvantage to young readers is that this story presents much grammatical error to illustrate the BFG’s lack of education. They might end up picking up such manner of speaking after reading the story. Although the unique ways of phrasing and names are used to attract the reader and keep them amused, it might mislead young readers who do not have proper guidance to follow what they read. Also, the story portrays adults being not as smart as they appear to be and being more cowardly than thought to be by children. Young readers would like to have a change and thus is attracted to the story by its different ideas. It gives children a chance to ‘mock?at adults, which they do not get to do in real life. By being able to achieve the "feel-good" feeling through reading the story and feeling momentarily superior to adults, Roald Dahl manages to easily keep his readers on the hook. By adopting different approaches and writing styles, Roald Dahl appeals to his audience and communicates his ideas across in an attractive and effective manner.

George?s Marvelous medicine

Much like the BFG, Roald Dahl makes use of George in the story to portray the image of children being better than adults. This gives young readers the room for imagination and think what would happen if such a thing really happens in the real world. Through such a style, Dahl once again enchants his young readers. Also, Dahl focuses on the magical world, which young readers wish very much to explore. Roald Dahl has definitely matched up to this need with the rich plots of the story, making the imaginary seem real. Also, Dahl focuses on the magical world, which young readers wish very much. Then, they will continue to read more to find out what happens next. Dahl successfully holds the reader in suspense and keeps the reader wishing to know what new thing would happen next. Roald Dahl's humorous sarcasm also engages the reader as young children love funny stories.

Nobody had ever made a medicine like that before. If it didn't actually cure Grandma, then it would anyway cause some exciting results. It would be worth watching. This makes the reader anticipate what is going to happen next as he/she would already have formed the impression in his/her mind that what’s next would be funny, though possibly bad.

However, from a certain perspective, this story may be bad influence to children as it gives them the stereotypical impression that the elderly are a bother and that they better gotten rid of fast. This may give the children wrong ideas and teach them not to respect their elders. On a general scale though, Roald Dahl makes his stories interesting in such a way that readers don t usually take what they read to heart and believe in what is written, yet he is able to still capture their attention with the different way he shows the everyday life with a twist.


[1] Read the summary of the story under the category of "Introduction to Roald Dahl's works"

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